- Title: YUGOSLAVIA: U.N. WAR CRIMES PROSECUTOR CARLA DEL PONTE ARRIVES IN BELGRADE
- Date: 3rd September 2001
- Summary: (U6)BELGRADE, YUGOSLAVIA (SEPTEMBER 03, 2001) (REUTERS - ACCESS ALL) 1. SV/SLV OF CARLA DEL PONTE, U.N. COURT'S CHIEF PROSECUTOR ARRIVING AT THE HYATT HOTEL IN BELGRADE (3 SHOTS) 0.20 2. MCU (English) FLORENCE HARTMANN, DEL PONTES SPOKESMAN SAYING: "Not only for him (Serbian president Milan Milutinovic), but any local immunity on the local level does not exist for the international justice. It is very clearly indicated in the statute of the Tribunal in article number 7 and there is no immunity before the international Tribunal and it does not protect him. The obligation of the state of Yugoslavia is for Mr Milutinovic and all the indictees living in the territory of Yugoslavia to be transfered to the Hague without the necessity of any specific law or whatever." 1.00 3. SLV/SV/CU/LV VARIOUS OF THE RALLY IN DOWNTOWN BELGRADE ORGANISED BY MILOSEVIC'S SOCIALIST PARTY AGAINST DEL PONTES VISIT (22 SHOTS) 3.12 Initials Script is copyright Reuters Limited. All rights reserved
- Embargoed: 18th September 2001 13:00
- Location: BELGRADE, YUGOSLAVIA
- Country: Yugoslavia
- Reuters ID: LVA461D6FYYC8LSJ3O68J3WBZCXJ
- Story Text: U.N. war crimes prosecutor Carla Del Ponte has arrived
in Belgrade for her first visit to the Yugoslav capital since
Serbia's authorities on June 28 handed over ousted leader
Slobodan Milosevic to the Dutch-based tribunal. Meanwhile
about three thousand people rallied in downtown Belgrade
against Del Pontes visit.
Del Ponte, who last week said she would indict
Milosevic for genocide in the 1992-5 Bosnian war, was expected
to meet Batic, Yugoslav Justice Minister Savo Markovic,
Serbian Prime Minister Zoran Djindjic and other officials
during a one-day visit on Monday (September 3).
Her spokeswoman, Florence Hartmann, said immunity did not
protect those indicted by the U.N. tribunal set up eight years
ago to examine crime during the collapse of old socialist
Yugoslavia in the 1990s.
"The obligation of the state of Yugoslavia is for Mr.
Milutinovic and all the indictees living on the territory of
Yugoslavia to be transferred to The Hague," Hartmann told
"There is no immunity before the international tribunal
and it does not protect him," she said in Belgrade.
As she spoke, about 3,000 supporters of Milosevics
Socialist Party demonstrated in central Belgrade to protest
against Del Pontes visit and the remarks by Djindjic last week
suggesting the authorities may transfer more suspects to the
Senior Socialist Party official Zivorad Igic told
reporters during the largely peaceful rally that it was their
aim to show Del Ponte that she was not welcome.
Earlier on Monday, Serbian Justice Minister Vladan Batic
said he would insist the ICTY also indicts ethnic Albanian
leaders of the formally disbanded Kosovo Liberation Army.
Batic said he and Markovic had also agreed to ask that the
U.N. tribunal make public its sealed, or secret, indictments.
The KLA battled Serbian forces in Kosovo in 1998-99, and
Yugoslav officials have repeatedly accused its former leaders
of crimes against minority Serbs in the southern province.
Minister Zoran Djindjic ruled out handing over President
Milan Milutinovic to the U.N. war crimes court, local news
agencies said on Monday.
The premier, driving force behind the transfer of ousted
Yugoslav leader Slobodan Milosevic to the Dutch-based tribunal
on June 28, said Milutinovic as Serbian president has
immunity, the official Tanjug news agency reported.
He was speaking hours before Del Ponte was due in Belgrade
for her first visit since Milosevic was handed over.
Her spokeswoman was quoted by local media at the weekend
as saying Del Ponte would demand the transfer of some of the
war crimes suspects still believed to be at large in
Yugoslavia, including Milutinovic.
Djindjic was quoted last week as saying Serbia "will have
to extradite some of the 15 accused known to us."
But he made clear on Monday this did not include
Milutinovic, the only Milosevic-era top official publicly
accused by the U.N. tribunal of war crimes who has remained in
his post. His five-year term expires in 2002.
"We refuse to extradite Serbian President Milan
Milutinovic to the tribunal in The Hague because, according to
our laws, he has immunity," Tanjug quoted Djindjic as saying.
He said it was the country's duty to cooperate with the
International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia
(ICTY) but that this was not possible in the case of
The Beta news agency carried a similar report.
The U.N. court indicted Milosevic and four of his top
aides, including Milutinovic, in 1999 for war crimes committed
by forces under their command in Albanian-dominated Kosovo.
Del Ponte's spokeswoman, Florence Hartmann, on Monday said
the trip would be a working visit to increase cooperation.
Del Ponte visited Belgrade for the first time in January,
when she had a frosty meeting with Yugoslav President Vojislav
Kostunica, who has denounced the U.N. court as biased against
Serbs. It was unclear whether they would meet again this time.
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